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Posts Tagged ‘spiders’

It was the autumn of 2019, and Theresa and I were building a fire in my backyard while we waited for Angela to bring Antonio and Fatima, and supplies for cooking hot dogs and s’mores. It was already dark, so it must have been fairly late, perhaps 9pm. I had been working second shift during that summer, so it was normal for me to be awake and active at that time of the evening. We hadn’t prepared for a bonfire, and I was scrambling to find branches out in the yard to keep the fire going long enough for everyone to enjoy it. Theresa handed me a LED headlamp that she had recently bought, in anticipation of her future travels. I strapped it on and flung my gaze out over the dark backyard, looking for any hint of fallen sticks that I could retrieve to burn. The light was piercingly bright, and I barely registered the beautiful way that the grasses sparkled, seemingly with dew.

I moved about the dry yard, and from somewhere deep in my mind floated up this relization that it was 9pm after a warm late-summer day—there shouldn’t be any dew on the ground.

The grass was not damp.

There was no dew on the ground.

I crouched then, peering close into one of those apparent dew-drops, and discovered a myriad of tiny gleaming eyes peeking back at me. I know I uttered an exclamation as I realized that the yard was inhabited by thousands of tiny jumping spiders, apparently all watching me with their prism eyes as I bumbled about picking up sticks. I couldn’t stop sweeping that light over the grass, watching it come alive in the spotlight, then immediately recede back into complete obscurity once the beam had passed.

I glanced back over toward the fire, where Theresa was absorbed in whatever task she had at hand, and I debated whether or not to call out to her in the excitement of my realization. I knew she wasn’t fond of spiders, and I didn’t want to risk her enjoyment of what I knew would be a memorable evening with family. Eventually I moved toward the wooded back part of the yard to find some heartier fare, then carefully picked my way back through the sparkling grass to the firepit, where no sparkles were to be found. Then, I couldn’t help myself any longer: I told her what I had discovered, and let her see it for herself.

It ended up being a very enjoyable evening indeed.

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